It’s a question you’ve asked and searched extensively online for answers. What’s the best diet for losing weight? You’ve probably come across articles that discuss different options. You may already know quite a bit about the restrictive diets that are so popular in the mainstream world of nutrition. The rock star of all of these at the moment is Keto. I feel like everyone on this planet is on that diet, telling their friends that it works wonders and they’ve got to do it too! Obviously it works or it wouldn’t be so huge.
The funny thing is I used to eat a low-carb diet for years, and this is back before even Atkins was born. BTW – from everything I’ve seen, it seems to me that Keto is just Atkins with a different name – but for some reason, Keto exploded into popular culture…maybe they just marketed it differently. I’ll tell you something. From my own experience, as much as it’s possible to lose weight living a low-carb lifestyle, it sucks having to pay such close attention to every little thing that you put into your body. I think we start to lie to ourselves and say, “oh, yeah, I LOVE this low-carb potato! It doesn’t taste like cardboard at all! I don’t even know if there’s such thing as a low carb potato…but I DID see low carb pizza bites at the grocery store today, which got me super intrigued, cause I’m thinking to myself, how on earth is that even possible?
I’m just gonna share with you what I personally believe is the most powerful way for ANYONE to lose weight, regardless of age and regardless of gender. This is based off what I tried doing recently. I was 153 pounds in mid June of 2020. By mid September of 2020, I weighed 141 lbs. And what’s funny is I wasn’t even trying to lose weight. I was trying to get defined and lean, but in the process, I lost bodyfat, which, if you’re trying to lose weight, my guess is that you REALLY want to burn the FAT off your body, not muscle, and you also don’t want to lose weight by losing bodyparts like ears and eyeballs. Now, what I’m about to describe in this article is going to go into a little bit more detail than JUST the diet itself, because i feel that the reason for me getting into shape was a combination of things. But let’s start with the most important part of losing fat.
Eat at a Calorie Deficit
I’m starting with this because it’s probably the MOST important concept I learned this year. I honestly did not fully wrap my head around this forever, and I’ve been a health nut for years. I didn’t really take it all that seriously I guess, because I figured, as long as you eat healthy foods or low carb, or low fat, or whatever, you’ll get into shape. I was wrong.
The moment I began following “the calorie deficit” approach, I noticed my body start to change significantly and noticeably in the mirror, within a week. There’s a calculation you must follow, and it’s so simple, but if you follow it, I swear you will start to notice a difference in your body very soon. Pretty much, all you have to do is eat at a 400 calorie deficit each day. Now, I know there are some diets out there that tell you to eat at some CRAZY number below your maintenance calories.
But the problem with those diets is they’re not sustainable for very long. Yes, you’ll lose weight initially, but then, there will come a day when you scream and freak out and curse the world for not allowing you to eat more. The calorie deficit that I follow will cause you to lose between 4 and 5 pounds of fat per month. BUT, the beauty of this is, you can eat whatever you want! Oh yeah, I’m talking about ice cream and pizza and chips too…NOT low fat pizza, NOT low fat chips! I mean, you can if you want to, but why would you if you don’t have to?
BTW, I can’t even tell you how nervous I was the first time I decided to eat real pizza and chips on a NON cheat day. That’s probably a topic for another time. I used to do a cheat day on Sundays, where I’d pretty much eat the entire menu at McDonald’s then drive over to Taco Bell and eat the entire menu there, and then head over to an all you can eat Buffet, and eat everything on their menu too, and then just be sick. Ok I’m exaggerating, but Sundays were Fun days! But these days, I eat any of that food any time I want anyway.
Here’s the calculation for the calorie deficit that I’ve followed. Take your weight, and multiply it by 15. Now, whatever your answer is, that number is your maintenance calories. If you eat that amount of calories every single day, you’ll stay at the same weight that you’re currently at. So, what you need to do is take that number, and subtract 400 from it. So, if you weigh 180, you’d multiply that by 15, and your answer would be 2,700. That’s how many calories you’d eat to stay the same weight you’re at now. But you want to LOSE weight. So, subtract 400 from that number. 2,700 – 400 = 2,300. So, if you weighed 180 lbs and ate 2300 calories per day, you’d lose approximately 4 to 5 pounds of bodyfat per month. It’s very simple. Don’t overthink this.
Now, if you’re someone who has more than 20 pounds to lose, you’d want to calculate this a bit differently. Rather than use your current weight and multiply it by 15, what you should do is take your TARGET weight, and do the same calculation. So, if you’re 250 pounds, and your target weight is 200 pounds, then do the entire calculation above using your target weight of 200 pounds. Easy peasy!
One other thing I want to mention is tracking calories is not nearly as hard as I used to think it was. It’s also the reason I never got into the exact shape I was looking for. But there’s a lot of information that goes along with that, so I’ll write another article on it. But let me just say it’s very easy to do. And you cannot afford to get this part wrong, because if you do, you will NOT hit your fat burning weight loss goals. So tracking calories correctly is ESSENTIAL.
Now, the other thing you want to do is make sure you’re hitting your protein goals every day too. So, once you’ve figured out how many calories you should be eating daily, you need to make sure you’re getting enough protein as well. This is easily done by taking your weight and multiplying it by 0.8. So, if you weigh 150lbs, then multiply that by 0.8.
150 x 0.8 = 120.
So, if you weigh 150 lbs, you’d want to make sure you’re eating 120 grams of protein per day.
And if you have over 20 pounds to lose, just as I mentioned above in the Calorie Deficit section, you would do this calcuation using your TARGET weight. So if you weigh 250 lbs, and your target weight is 200 lbs, then to calculate your daily protein intake, you’d take 200 x 0.8 = 160. So you’d eat 160 grams of protein per day.
What is the best diet for losing weight, you asked…and I bet somewhere in your search, you found information about Intermittent Fasting. DON’T BE SCARED! I know the word ‘fasting’ can cause people to faint but it’s seriously so much easier than you might think. I was personally really nervous about even attempting this whole intermittent fasting thing but I’ve gotten so used it, and it’s actually a win win situation for a few reasons. Prior to intermittent fasting, I was eating 5 – 6 small meals a day, which they say is better for your metabolism and keeps you less hungry throughout the day. I did this for years! What’s annoying about eating multiple meals a day is you have to think about what foods you’re gonna make, and they’ve all got to be within a specific calorie range. The bottom line is there’s way more mental energy that goes into eating 5 to 6 times a day than with Intermittent fasting.
Here’s how I do intermittent fasting. Just don’t eat any food for 4 to 6 hours after waking up. I drink coffee and sparkling water throughout the day and it helps a ton to keep hunger away. Then when I eat, I absolutely feast, on A LOT of food. I follow a very simple nutritional plan and make sure to hit my needed calories per day. I do NOT pay attention to carbs or fats or any of that stuff. I just make sure to hit my protein and calorie needs each day. It’s as simple as that.
Walk 10,000 Steps Daily
Now, you don’t HAVE to do this, okay? I guess technically this has nothing to do with the actual food you’re putting into your body. But, you’re definitely going to notice a difference if you do walk 10,000 steps a day. And, it’s so easy to do. I mean, at least a thousand or more of those steps are already happening as you walk around your house, just doing random activities. If you asked me a year ago, I’d have said, WTF are you talking about? Walking? Uh, no…if you want to burn fat, you’ve got to do crazy intense cardio! You’ve got to do the Shaun T Insanity! Insanity is awesome and fun…but I’ve gotten WAY better results leaning down into a body that I’m actually really proud of right now, doing practically nothing but walking. How come 2 months of Insanity didn’t give the same results? Well, one simple answer to that is when the cardio you’re doing is so incredibly intense, you become ravenously hungry and it’s easy to eat a lot more than you should. Anyway, walking 10,000 steps per day is actually so fun and easy to do. I’ve noticed that walking about 10,000 steps is approximately an hour and a half. I break it up a few times per day to hit the full 10,000 steps. But, it’s so easy to calculate. Just install MyNetDiary or MyFitnessPal onto your phone and it tracks everything. Or, I guess if you have a FitBit, which I don’t, that works just the same. I’ll have to write another article about these apps, though because they are INCREDIBLY important to your success, especially when it comes to the food you’re putting into your body to lose weight. This is how I’ve tracked my calories the past several months, and it’s completely blown my mind at the changes that happen to you as a result.
Focus On A Calorie Deficit and Protein Intake
I just want to finish off by saying, if you’re serious about losing weight, focus on the first two topics on this page beyond anything else. You don’t HAVE to do intermittent fasting, but it helps tremendously for reasons I’ve written about in this article here. You don’t HAVE to walk 10,000 steps a day, but it WILL help you lose that weight. Walking 10,000 steps per day will burn about 400 – 500 calories each time you do it, and you’ll never feel worn out afterwards, cause walking is something we’re already doing regularly. You can learn more about the benefits of walking 10,000 steps a day here.
But, if you just follow the Calorie Deficit and Protein Intake information above, you’ll notice a difference. My best friend has lost 25 pounds in the past few months SIMPLY by following the calorie and protein sections of this. He’s not following my workout routine (that’s also for another article) and he’s NOT walking the 10,000 steps a day. He’s simply watching what he eats. It’s so simple. So if you want to lose weight, follow the information above, and check out the full program I follow here. Please let me know how you progress. I love this stuff, and I’m obsessed with seeing people make progress towards their fitness goals! Thank you for reading!